1916 Commemoration

DSC01036 Went in to Dublin this morning for the 1916 Easter Rising Commemoration. The Rising was a strike for Irish freedom during a time when the country was controlled by Britain. It’s fitting that those men be remembered 90 years on as it was the catalyst which drove us to where we are now as a republic. Dignitaries were present at the GPO (main H.Q. during the fighting) today and we got a good position in the centre of O’Connell St. I’ve uploaded all the pictures I took to Flickr which include shots of the military parade and fly past. RTE says that up to 120,000 people lined the route.

10 Comments

  1. trev   •  

    who was in the fly past then, ryanair?
    i wasn’t botherred i went golfing, i feel very strongly about 1916 and that era but this entire event felt like a fianna fail bread and circuses stunt to me, berties speech about it was that it ranked alongside the war of independance 1938 bunreacht and the 1973 accesion into the EU and the 98 good friday egreement, did you notice they were all fianna fail moves, what about cosgraves 1922 first irish goverment, or costellos act of the republic, or fitzgeralds anglo-irish agreement, and i detest Fine Gael. i think they’re Fianna Fail lite.
    and if the 90th is so important where was the 89th anniversary.
    it’s all vote grabbing from paddy mcmilosivich himself Bumbling Bertie Ahern, the Master Manipulator

  2. anthony   •     Author

    I’m aware of the party political conotations alright but it’s still nice to see it back.

  3. trev   •  

    to see it back? the last proper parade was in 66, what do you mean by “back” newbie?

  4. Brian Boru   •  

    I am glad the parade happened. However I could not help but notice how much smaller in scale it was compared to 1966 (based on tv footage I have seen online). Although the standing army is around 9,000 strong, the reserves are 20,000, so even taking account that most of the army are on peacekeeping duties abroad, surely we could have had a bigger parade? I think Political-Correctness got involved on this issue e.g. playing down the military aspect of the Rising – a fact also reflected in the absence of the gun-salute at the GPO where soldiers fired into the air in the 1966 commemoration. My biggest gripe though is with the outdated equipment of the Air Corps. We are still using propeller-based planes with a distinctly WW2 look.

    I know we are only a small neutral country, but considering the armed forces of other neutrals like Switzerland and Sweden surely our government should be properly equipping and resourcing our army? The sad reality is that any country could easily take us over at the present. We have learned little from 1169 onwards. It took us 754 years to free ourselves from Britannia’s clutches. Whatever the Left’s amnesia of the military aspect of 1916, our independence was won by military means. I reject the thesis from that quarter that an increase in military spending would compromise our neutrality. A neutral country should have the military strength – within reason – to defend its neutral. We should at least be able to frustrate a potential enemy with guerilla warfare.

    I am opposed to excessive PCness. In an age when the elites preach internationalism (especially the Left) and decry nationalism, I feel that the Nationalist majority in this country should have their right to patriotic expression vindicated. I am an Irishmen before I am a European.

  5. Brian Boru   •  

    “what about cosgraves 1922 first irish goverment, or costellos act of the republic, or fitzgeralds anglo-irish agreement”

    I think a lot of people feel have a decidedly mixed view of the W.T. Cosgrave govt because of:

    A: Mishandling of the Boundary Commission affair of 1925. In the subsequent Dail debate, Cosgrave argued that partition was part of the 1922 treaty. Not really so. The Treaty included a Boundary Commission which Collins was led to believe would give Nationalist parts of NI to us. There was also to be a Council of Ireland. The report was leaked as taking part of East Donegal from us while only giving us tiny areas of South Armagh and Fermanagh in return. Naturally this was unacceptable so Cosgrave, the Brits and Craig agreed to leave the border as was. But they also agreed to cancel the Council of Ireland. I wonder did the latter concession really need to be made? Effectively then the Treaty was superseded by what Cosgrave agreed to, so I think it ill-suited him referring to the Treaty. The Irish public punished Cosgrave in the first of 2 General Elections in 1927 and felt deceived by the Brits over the Boundary Commission. This has haunted FG ever since

    B: The 1949 Act, while welcome, would likely have come anyway. The hard constitutional work on the road to the republic post-independence was done by Dev in the External Relations Act, the abolition of the Governor-General and Oath of Allegiance, and the 1937 Constitution.

    C: The Anglo-Irish Agreement is indeed welcome and I agree maybe Ahern should have mentioned it.

  6. kevintel   •  

    The reason that the 1916 Rising is so signficant is entirely symbolic. The independence itself was won by a bloody guerilla war against the British Empire, in very similar same circumstances as, for example, the Americans are facing in Iraq right now, which is something that the Irish Government and many others in this country wouldn’t like to draw attention to. In other words, 90 years ago the Irish were the ‘unseen Terrorist enemy’. I also believe that Collins was canny enough to grasp the usefulness of The Great War in weakening the British enough that they would talk terms to end the fight in Ireland. If not for the circumstances, the Irish wouldn’t have had a chance against the British. Importantly, Ireland didn’t win independence through having it’s own organised military force; in fact, I understand that having an organised army, armed and trained by the British (either directly, or through men trained for The Great War), is what ended the Civil War.

    Anyway, my point is that the real event is not one we can openly celebrate, which is how Ireland beat the British through terrorism and guerilla warfare. 1916 was ultimately futile but looks great as a date and event. Having the army involved just misses the point entirely, especially because the ringleaders were intellectuals with no support from the majority of the population, who were aiming to become martyrs (in which to be fair, they succeeded).

    Explain to me how Fianna Fail and Fine Gael, then and now, lived up to the aims of those martyrs. Magdalene laundries, anyone?

    The other thing I’m personally interested in is who was in control of Government when the Irish national infrastructure was dismantled between the ’40s and ’60s? That was a set of criminal policies which ruined Ireland.

  7. kevintel   •  

    Oh yeah, and let’s not forget that the great Dev also signed Hitler’s book of condolences. He only declared neutrality at the outbreak of war because the British would have invaded and reclaimed Ireland.

    You wouldn’t have seen me dancing at the crossroads under his leadership (incidentally, although his vision was for maidens dancing at the crossroads, it was in fact banned. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would have considered Dev a bit conservative back in the day.).

  8. trev   •  

    i see what your saying brian but you seem to have missed my point in that this whole parade smacks of berties publicity, i would gladly commemerate the 1916 ruising but i feel quite strongly about irish history and am very rpoud of it, and i do not like to see it being used to bolster a smary politicians public profile. i note from your posts you seem very pro Fianna fail, i come form that background but i could never consolidate the party of 2005 with the party of 1927

  9. trev   •  

    ” 1916 was ultimately futile but looks great as a date and event”
    it’s a common enough point kev, but i’d suggest that the effect on 1916 was to stir the idea of nationalism to the point of the war of independance. it was like lighting the fuse, the war of independance happened (at least when it did) because of 1916, the gap between can easily be explained by the imprisonment of many of the 1916 participants and their release leading up to 1919. the real signifigance of 1916 to me is the beginning of the end, not just of the british rule of ireland but also , the beginning of the end of the great british empire. losing america in 1796 gave it a black eye, but we kicked the chair out from under it, and started the exodus of the anexxed countries from britains rule.

  10. Kevin T   •  

    Sorry Trev, I didn’t articulate my point well; I agree with you in that it was the fuse for the War of Independence. What I meant was, that in a military sense the 1916 Rising was a disastrous failure, but it was never intended to be a success; they were aiming for martyrdom to provoke some action from the otherwise indifferent Irish population, thus making it possible for the likes of Michael Collins to harness support for his activities. So I think it should be commemorated for sure, but not with a military parade, maybe something which allows us to see if their aims were met and to celebrate their bravery.

    I also agree with you about the political agenda; it’s a Fianna Fail flag-waving event, which is a real shame. I wonder will we also celebrate their founder kicking off the even more brutal and tragic civil war that followed independence?

    It is said, by the way, that Churchill knowingly sacrificed the British Empire to win the war against Germany in WW II. But I’m sure that giving up Ireland certainly inspired other movements, elsewhere. I find it very interesting that Collins was taking instructions and getting assistance from the British after signing the treaty, and we tend to hear very little about that from Nationalists; after independence, the British worked to make sure that Ireland was stable and a relatively ‘friendly’ state.

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